The Ravens had, by nearly all accounts, one of the NFL’s best drafts in April.
With their 10 picks, they addressed just about every need on the roster — edge rusher being the holdout — and got more talented at each position they needed to.
And while the Ravens are hopeful all of their drafted players can fill a role next season, a few players like Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington have clear roles carved out as depth players for their rookie season, and safety Geno Stone appears destined for a special teams role to start his career.
Here are the five Ravens’ rookies that can make an immediate impact in 2020:
1. Patrick Queen
The first one is as obvious can be.
Not only is Queen the team’s first round draft pick, but he also likely filled the biggest need on the team and will join the Ravens and immediately be handed a starting role.
Queen made 85 tackles for the national champion LSU Tigers last season and, at just 20-years-old, was one of the draft’s top risers last season at LSU.
He’s perhaps the most talented player of the Ravens’ 2020 draft class and with a starting role so clearly carved out for him, the room for strong production is right there.
2. Devin Duvernay
Duvernay will join a Ravens receiving corps in need of a second wide receiver to prove himself. With Mark Andrews at tight end and Marquise Brown as the team’s two clear top options in the receiving game, there is still an opening for a third option to emerge from the group. The speedster from Texas could be it.
With 4.39 40-yard dash speed, Duvernay will immediately be one of the fastest players not only on the offense, but on the team. He posted 106 catches last season for 1,386 yards at Texas, but his toughness was what stood out to the Ravens.
If he’s able to prove his worth early on, he could find himself as the team’s third option in the receiving game.
3. James Proche
This might seem out of sorts for Proche to be on this list so high, but hold up.
Yes, he was the second-to-last pick of the Ravens’ draft. Yes, he’s just a rookie and draft capital matters in terms of who gets a look, and how much they do.
But Proche is also likely going to be the team’s punt and perhaps kick returner to start the season. There’s not a rookie on this list, besides Queen, who is in better shape to have some kind of starting role so quickly.
Add into the debate that Proche is joining the same depth chart as Duvernay, and it’s clear there’s a path for the sure-handed receiver to find his way onto the field sooner than some may think.
4. J.K. Dobbins
Dobbins has perhaps the highest ceiling on this list, and the floor is higher than perhaps anyone but Queen for his rookie year. The problem is, the ceiling involves some exceptions.
He’ll join a crowded backfield with Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, not to mention that his new quarterback is the league’s best running quarterback as well.
Dobbins might end up having the greatest long-term impact on this list, but the odds of him taking on a major role in the offense — while he’s essentially guaranteed at least some kind of role in 2020 — would require him stepping up as the clear No. 1 running back, or a host of injuries.
5. Ben Bredeson
Bredeson might make the quietest impact of anyone on this list, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him to make the biggest.
In a logjam to replace Marshal Yanda’s right guard spot, Bredeson figures to be the likeliest rookie to take over the position. If he’s able to, he’ll certainly have earned it.
The rookie started all four seasons at Michigan and certainly has the experience in big time games to step in and contribute immediately.
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